About the Diving Museum
If you are looking for a great family day out, why not visit the Diving Museum? We have a fascinating selection of exhibits that will entertain, inform and educate the whole family. We were voted one of the top six family friendly museums in the UK in 2015!
The museum was established in 2011 by The Historical Diving Society. It is located in a Victorian military battery in Gosport on the shores of The Solent. It is the only museum of its kind in the UK.
Gosport has a claim to being the ‘home’ of the global diving industry. In 1832 the Deane brothers (the inventors of the diving helmet) carried out the world’s first commercial dive just off the coast of the Isle of Wight. John Deane subsequently moved to Gosport to continue working on local wrecks. Their invention suddenly made underwater exploration possible and the new ‘art of diving’ was soon practised all around the world. The prototype helmet which the Deane brothers used to perfect their diving helmet is currently on display in the Diving Museum.
Although it is small, the museum has a wide range of diving equipment including diving bells, chambers and atmospheric diving suits. Every kind of diving is represented – recreational, military, scientific, commercial and even breath-hold diving. And every era from ancient to modern. There is something for everyone in this fascinating museum. A great family day out!
Our trustees are Kevin Casey, Peter Dick, Tony Marshall, Mike O’Meara, Steve Roue, Liz James and Jim Cullen.
All of our Museum Officers have backgrounds in diving: commercial, recreational, scientific and naval diving. They have experience in directing and managing their own businesses or national/international organisations. Their professionalism and management skills underpin our strength and development.
Our Officers are backed up by an advisory panel consisting of experts in education, tourism, local history, publicity, IT, community liaison, and museum design & development, all of whom generously provide valuable advice and support.
Chairman of the Historical Diving Society.
Former Global Vice President of Subsea 7.
Former Royal Navy Clearance Diver.
Museum Director and Fundraising Officer.
Vice Chairman of the Historical Diving Society.
Former career saturation diver.
MD of buyhistoryprints.com
Cdr. Martin Marks, OBE
Safety & Security Officer
Royal Navy Commander, retired.
Experienced sport diver/instructor
Former CEO of a military charity.
BSAC’s first female regional coach.
MOD Sub aqua diving supervisor, 1981.
Former BSAC National Instructor.
Les Rutherford, M Inst RE
Former RE Diver and Bomb Disposal Officer. former 6 Alpha Associates Ltd, UXO consultant and project manager.
Former RN Instructor Officer. Former Regional Manager for Right Management, Military careers transition partnership.
Sport diver. Owner and MD of Nigel Phillips Rare Books (www.nigelphillips.com)
Sport diver. Graphic designer.
Our Patrons are individuals who have supported us by making a gift of £1,000 or more to the museum. They are
Ann and John Bevan, Bob Campbell, Kevin Casey, Michael Cocks, Tony Marshall, Mike O’Meara, Nigel Phillips, Don Shiers, John and Una Smillie, Jim Thomson, John Towse, Cheryl and Peter Wingett.
We have a small but growing team of Volunteers – many of whom have a background in diving.
Our Volunteers turn their hands to everything from acting as museum guides, to maintenance and repair, design, organising and publicising events, entertaining children, and much more.
We act as a team to make sure that your visit is an enjoyable and memorable experience.
Come and meet us – or better still, join us!
About The Historical Diving Society
The Historical Diving Society was founded in England in 1990 with the aim of promoting and co-ordinating research into the history and development of underwater exploration and the preservation of associated archives and artefacts.
The motivation for the Society’s foundation was the heightened interest in, and awareness of the history of diving – the perhaps inevitable result of the explosive growth in commercial, military and amateur diving which followed the end of the Second World War.
In 2011 it opened a museum in Gosport, Hampshire. It is the only museum dedicated to diving in the UK.
The Historical Diving Society is a company limited by guarantee. Registered Charity Number 1159032. Company registered in England & Wales No. 9204944.